Dominant Buxton begin season with comfortable win over Halesowen
Buxton's rebuilt side, sporting seven summer signings in the starting line-up, opened their season with a deserved 2-0 win over Halesowen.
Halesowen outfit, hard-hit by pre-season injuries and poor form, must have gone home thankful that the deficit wasn’t greater.
The Bucks, themselves lacking stalwarts Jamie Green and Ricky Ravenhill, hit the woodwork four times without reward as they made a host of scoring opportunities, particularly in a totally dominant second half.
The match, bathed in pleasant sunshine, had a frenetic,evenly-contested opening and `the Yeltz’ had their best chance to score of the whole afternoon as early as the second minute when the ball fell to Clarke, but he squeezed his close-range effort narrowly wide of goal.
By midway through the half Buxton were beginning to take control with a pleasing brand of passing soccer on Richard Lomas’s carpet surface.
Niall Doran was lively on the right and when he fed Lee Bennett the striker shot firmly, but across the face of goal and the winger then set up Brad Abbott who turned and fired into the side-netting.
After Nicky Walker had hit a post Buxton took the lead on the half-hour when a deflection took Walker’s 16-yard shot wide of keeper Platt.
Immediately afterwards Bradley Grayson and loanee Kegan Evrington both went close with shots to doubling their team’s advantage.
After the interval the Bucks dominated possession down the slope with Abbott twice creating dangerous openings on the left, both resulting in corners.
Walker made a promising forward run but from his pull-back Bennett couldn’t control the pass, while for Town a Callum Williams curling 20-yard free-kick was heading for the angle until ‘keeper Budtz comfortably palmed it away.
Buxton returned to the attack with a neatly constructed move involving Doran, Grayson and Bennett but Platt parried Grayson’s shot then Abbott made the points safe in the 66th minute with a blistering 20-yard drive under the angle after Doran set him up.
More goals looked likely but when Abbott drove diagonally across the 6-yard box a defender’s lunge sent the ball against the bar, then the midfielder thrashed another drive against a post before excellent referee Parsons blew the final whistle to save the visitors and the woodwork from further punishment.
Unsurprisingly manager Martin McIntosh expressed himself thoroughly delighted with his team’s performance and was surprised only that his players hadn’t scored more as their efforts and quality deserved.